David Walker, the former Comptroller General of the United States, has stepped up his critical analysis of the city’s taxing policies in appearances at public meetings and even trying to get through with a question at Mayor Bill Finch’s telephone town hall meeting Tuesday night. Did anyone listen in? Walker listened, but as the Black Rock resident writes in a comment to OIB, his question was not taken. Walker’s observations:
Mayor Finch just doesn’t get it. This City is one of the highest taxed and most regulated in the country. More importantly, his Administration has made it worse not better. The facts are that total property taxes have increased significantly during his tenure and he wants to increase them again! In addition, his spending reductions have been inadequate. What about almost $1 billion in unfunded retiree health promises that are outrageous, unaffordable and unsustainable. What about the Mayor and several top city managers, including the City Council President, getting significant raises last year when taxes had to be raised? I sat on his tele-Town Hall last night for over an hour. It was supposed to be about the budget but was badly mismanaged by the screeners. Less than half the questions/comments related to the budget. Needless to say, they didn’t take my question. Namely, why can’t Bridgeport cut spending when most governments can? Doesn’t the Mayor understand that higher taxes will make Bridgeport less attractive for both businesses and individuals. It’s time for City Hall to wake up and get serious if it wants to avoid bankruptcy.